Issue #3, Vol. 2 (February 24th, 2007)




Geoff Gardner...Alan
Couch Potato.....Joe

Following Last game's fight with the Godzilla-like creature, the government puts it in temporary storage.  Now that the space has been emptied the government can tell you it was temporarily held in a hangar at the airport under close guard, shrunken to a more manageable size.  They tell you a few things about it.
  • Gills are either a very new mutation or they are a fading one.  Evolution.
  • Same with the bayleen, which seems to be only supplemental because it has teeth.
  • This creature is omnivorous, but primarily eats meat.  It probably can't find that quantity of meat in the ocean very often.  So it is likley that it lived on land.  So it's odd to find it just off of your coast.
  • It's radioactive.  The longer it sits around, the more radioactive it gets.
They are waiting on The Herodotus, a cargo ship that has been outfitted by UNTIL to manage the hauling.  They are counting on the characters to handle the defense.  But that will be in two days.  Meanwhile they have an opportunity to handle other things.
One such thing, is a submarine.

Graves both Watery and Shallow

Our heroes are contacted by one Janine Halsey, a young woman who has been nicknamed by the local media as the "Bay Mermaid", because she's been mistaken for one by local fishermen and the like.  She says she was following the tracks of the monster back to the sea and came to a dead end.  There, near where the first feet touch down and made big craters under the sea, is a large glowing spot and something that looks like a submarine.  Sorta.
The heroes get together some scuba gear and go out to look.  They find that the glowing area is phosphorescent coral.  It also doesn't seem native to the area.
Facts about the craft:
  • It has a few bars of unknown metal fastened to the underside, almost as if it had been attached to something else.  The bars are welded on.  A metallurgical analysis of the edges shows that the ends of the bars were "torn" from whatever they were attached to.
  • The craft is constructed of brass and various other non-oxidizing metal and is seemingly steam powered.  It resembles a submarine from a Jules Verne story. The boiler has been cleverly insulated.  It probably still produced a lot of heat in the water, but it seemed to be sufficiently silent.
  • The craft has been "bastardized" with bits of technology; transistors, wiring, and electronic components.  It would seem to be dated somewhere in the early-to-mid part of the last century.
  • A skeletal arm nearby seemed to belong to a body from on board.
  • Inside is a cargo bay that is specially fitted with restraints for holding something that might be...robots... not unlike those of Geoff Gardner.
  • Etched into the side appears to be a date that turns out to be from the Greek "Attic" Hellenic calendar, dated in 1944.
  • There is a name emblazoned on the side:  Der Valkyrie.
  • There is a head of a robot, resembling one like Geoff Gardner's robots.  This one however also is not a pure 'steampunk' unit, using bits of more modern technology.
  • Pieces of leather are the only thing left of a uniform; One is a holster, another is a belt with a buckle with a nazi swastika on it.
The coral that glows nearby is not native to the area.  It does encrust one side of the Sub.  The other side likely had more, and that is what is lying around the area, making the glow.
It takes quite a while to haul it in from 3 miles out, but it eventually makes it to shore and is put on the flatbed truck from the base and hauled back to the House of Rain.  Note that the base sensors only picked up trace radiation.  The craft in itself is not radioactive; it just likely picked up a bit from contact with something radioactive, like our big horrible beast from last game.
Research brings up a drawing made by an unidentified airmen in 1944.  The National WWII Memorial Project attributtes it to Richard "Ace" Harding, whom the characters recognize as a famed hero named PARAGON, an old friend of Uncle Slam.
Uncle Slam meets two players at the Keep while others examine the submarine.  He lets the characters know:
  • These were a much despised project in der Fuerer's military; He thought they should be a modern military and didn't like these old U-boats, but they were used as couriers of people and objects because they were smaller and could run deep for long periods of time with more speed than the conventional subs.
  • Paragon lives here in the city, at the local municipal airport, where he maintains a few planes.  He will call over and let him know the players are coming.
  • He can NOT tell the characters where they sank such a boat.  He has made a promise not to do so, and this was a move more important to him than anything, including Natioanl Security.
The characters meet with Paragon.
  • There is a pretty young woman's picture on the nose-art of the plane.  The same woman's picture is on photos in his office.  It is quite obviously his daughter.  Also, there is a picture of 6 people taken on the grounds of the airport.  They are junior superheroes, ANTHEM, JACKHAMMER, and ACES HIGH (Paragon's daughter), and the senior trainers of these heroes, PARASITE, SENTRY, and SUNDOWN.  (Characters may recall that Jackhammer died in a suspicious fall from a great height, Anthem was in hiding originally because she thought the team was being hunted by "The Doctor", the villain this team brought in, and Aces High is long missing.  Parasite and Sentry are deceased, while Sundown is missing.)
  • He tells the characters that he knows the location the sub went down and while he knows Uncle Slam would NEVER tell such information, he is more than willing to do so for a tiny little favor.  He knows(!) the characters have "The Doctor" on their premesis and that he is a powerful psychic.  He feels that the Black Pope's men are responsible for his daughter's disappearance and/or death and he wants to know about her.  He thinks that the psychic may have picked up information.  He would like the characters to question him about his long missing daughter.
The characters question The Doctor.  He actually seems willing to help and rather normal.
  • When presented with a picture he grabs is head as if it's hard to think.  Then he tells the character he has seen the scene.  He glimpsed it from the man the team come to identify as "Coffin Nail Joe" aka Joe Bellamy, aka Crucifier.  She is in a warehouse and on the crates there are dolphin logos.  He's certain she's dead.  Her wings are off and there's too much blood for it to be anything else.
The characters figure out the warehouse in question, investigate, and do indeed find the scene of her death, and the shallow grave outside, which is also accompanied by boot prints and hoof-prints set in the mud and baked by the sun.
They tell Colonel Samuels (Uncle Slam) and he informs the team that it's best not to tell Paragon that they are certain who did this.  If they do, there will be hell to pay.  Paragon lost his wife years ago and gave up superheroing because his powered armor was killing him, so that he could raise his daughter; Such specific information could prove to be a problem.
The Herodotus arrives and a short-range teleport puts the beast in the belly of the ship.  Basically, you've got a large UNTIL boat with a large cargo hold, and in the middle of the hold is a large force-field bubble.  The animal (called Zorgatha) is suspended in it, gassed.  There are not one, but 4 force-field generators to keep it imprisoned.  It's nice to have redundancy.  (NOTE:  Jim asked why they didn't just keep shrinking the godzilla smaller; I actually thought about making him jar-sized, which would have been funny, but made for a smaller scale combat as your fishing boat was assailed by a smaller group of ninjas.  I think you'll agree this was a more epic fight).
During the 157 mile voyage to the Sea Life Project, they team is assailed by ninjas!  There is a brief flash of light along the lower edge of the ship and then suddenly, ninjas are scaling the sides.  The team flies into action.  Couch Potato sends a batch overboard to fall behind the ship.  Vector goes into a move-through spree, hurling many ninjas into one another, knocking out very many.  Rift and B4 try to deal with their obvious leaders, who land at the center of the ship.  They are a man in a martial arts gui (sp?) with long gray hair, and a man with an ornate shogun outfit.
The martial artist seems to have a great many hand-to-hand attacks and a few sword attacks (including a nasty autofire-sword attack that nicks up b4 pretty well).  Rift is "entangled" by a blow that is basically a nerve-strike that locks his solar-plexus in place.  He'll get out when he desolidifies, allowing his molecules to relax (Don't you love improvised comic-book science?).
Geoff Gardner is having trouble with a low-level cable entangle used by a ninja, however it's made worse when Couch Potato hoists him up and drops him into the bay below, near his robots (whose hands are literally full of ninja at the time).  It's a pretty good blow that hurts him a bit.  (Go evil!)  But he survives and breaks out soon after.
Between B4 and Rift's "phasers of different eras", they bring down the shogun-type, whose specialty is to call on the spirits of his ancestors to attack in various forms.  He has a brief revival where he tries to teleport his brother off the ship, but he's brought down in that one phase where he's within reach of phaser-fire before they both would be gone!
The team wins with no deaths on their side and a lot of broken bones on the other side (With the chain-link under their ninja garb, they were working about 12PD total, so those 15 to 19 BODY hits would really add up on the normal guys).
At one point in the fight there was a glowing point of light that appeared at the front of the ship, until one of the two brothers were KO'd.
Afterword:  The ninjai are the footsoldiers of a Japanese corporation called ONI.  They were the same corporation that was a hunted of Dr. Tewelleker once in the previous run of games (Though those were the higher up agents in power-rangeresque garb with elemental powers).  They were here to steal wannabe-Godzilla.  And if things were going badly, they were to destroy the FF generators and free him.
The leaders are the ONI corporate owners, Arashi ("Storm") and Koushi ("The Heir").  There were 34 Ninjas as well.
Welcome to Sea Life Project.  Administrator Dr. O'conner meets the group.  Apparently she's been in contact with Uncle Slam.  It seems that PRIMUS, UNTIL, and the Japanese Gov't are in talks about turning the animal back over to the Japanese.  UNTIL figured out and has confronted the Japanese about the existence of a whole island of such Monsters.  He would be returned to the Monster Island preserve.  It seems that they've never had an escape in all the years they've maintained the facility.  This one was at the shoreline, in the water, then vanished for twenty minutes before resurfacing near the team's home city.  How this was achieved is uncertain, except that the exchange back would involve a teleportation gate being set up by the government of Japan.  No word on what we would get in return.
When Dr. O'Conner conducts the tour, she seems to use it as an excuse to get into the secure lower labs where "Dr. Bond" works.  Seems she doesn't get in there very often and is using the heroes' presence as an excuse.  That's the 7th and 8th floors.
By the 6th floor however, B4 notices something that looks like a shark fin in the submarine docking bay.  However, his scans of the water don't reveal anything (Which is not unreasonable, because Inviso-shark had invisiblity to Sight, Hearing, and Unusual sense groups whenever he was submerged in water).  Sensors seem to be working in the bay that alert to the presence of living things.
The team gets into Dr. Bond's lab and looks around but he's done his best to tidy up in the minute before they got in.  The screens don't show any experiments, just exterior shots of the base.  When asked to bring up shots of the docking bay to look for the fin, the technician tries to hide the feed by futzing withe display, but B4's super-keen senses pick up the move and he confronts the tech, who is not a very good liar.  When B4 runs the recording back himself he finds that there is indeed a fin there.  The tech is not a good liar.  The group proceeds to try to intimidate him until finally he snaps and points at Dr. Bond and says, "He did it!  He did it!"  Whereupon Dr. Bond hits a button on the panel freeing his pals from their cells.  They are:
  • A half-man/half-shark creature with a pretty nasty bite which f's up Geoff Gardner (who had to get in close to try and close the doors on the experiments).
  • A coral-man, who makes a cool crumbling noise as he walks and hurls chunks of himself at foes.
  • Pincers (Crab-men) who can cut through lab doors like tin cans.
  • On the next floor are Nereid (A woman who communicates with fishes) and another Pincer, who never quite enter the combat.  She is instead warned to flee by the fishies.  She'll get away when Inviso shark punches a hole in the docking bay with a ferocious move-through on the door.
The heroes bring down their foes thorugh phaser-fire, move-bys and other attacks.  Vector retrieves Janine from the next floor by desolidifying and going down there.  After looking at the array of buttons, the force the tech to tell them which button, which narrows it down from 8 to 2 buttons.  Finally, Vector chickens out and makes her pick.  I forgot that she's claustraphobic and wouldnt' have been able to answer; She shouldn't have answered at all.  Alas, she gave the right answer and she is freed.  For those "road not taken" fans...
  • Red button #1: Toxic fluid is pumped into the chamber
  • Red button #2:  An electrical current stuns the captive
  • Red button #3:  The water-pressure in the tube increases vastly
  • Green Button #1:  Refloods the chamber
  • Green Button #2:  Empties the water out
  • Green Button #3:  Opens the chamber whether it's flooded or not.
  • Black Button #1:  Blades enter the chamber and dice up the captive for easy disposal.
  • Black Button #2:  Dumps the captive into the chamber below, where all the fishy remains are (And boy is that a horror show).
During the fight, Dr. Bond tried to text message someone.  Vector had to seize it, but only caught "Message Sent".  After the fight, the team goes and retrieves the message only to find it is coded.  Digging up a former marine cryptographer from the base staff, they get him to rip it apart.  The message says:
The recipient:  One Dr. Tewelleker, Residence:  The House of Rain, Lazarus.
The team then tries to raise Audra Blue and gets no response.  They get ahold of Bridge, who says she hasn't seen either of them.  It will be 1hr of travel time to get back to shore, and Bridge has never been to Sea Life Project so she doesn't have a memorized location there.  She has a megascale teleport, but that's something you don't want to do blind, plus if she did it in chunks of, say... 10 Miles, she'd drop like a rock after each teleport, reaching terminal velocity by the time she arrives.  (Teleporting in water is also bad:  Like t-porting into an object).
So the only flyer, Couch Potato, takes off back to shore to retrieve her.  She'll come out, and memorize a location, teleport the team back to shore, then they can tport back for the exchange later.